Last week Intrepid had an extremely loud and fun night for its long term staff – 20 people who each have over 10 years of service gathered in Melbourne, Australia, for an unbelievably noisy dinner (this lot can talk!). Co-founders, Darrell Wade and Geoff ‘Manch’ Manchester, also made the second induction into the Intrepid Hall of Fame, recognising Sally Goldstraw for her valuable contribution.
There is something about eating a dish at home, and then getting to enjoy it in its country of origin that is truly delicious. Having the golden opportunity to dine with locals was what made Mirra Fine’s food experiences special and that led to an incredible short film, A Taste of Vietnam…
“I first tried Vietnamese food while living in New York City a few years back. There was a modest Pho shop around the corner from my apartment, and I would stop in twice a week to get my fill of the delicious beef broth, long rice noodles and fresh basil. The dish is beautiful in its simple complexity. On the surface, it appears to be noodle soup, but the herbs create a freshness that offsets the richness of the liquid on which it is floating. The squeeze of a ripe lime adds a subtle sweetness, and the bottles of brown and red sauces lining the table next to you, are the secrets behind the depth and color.
Even if you’re not competitive by nature, when you are egged on by a cheeky sea lion in the Galapagos Islands Summer Davis discovers that you have no choice but to take up the challenge and be thankful that you’ve put in the hard yards in the pool…
“Swirling under a cyclone of bubbles, a spirited sea lion stares sweetly into your snorkel mask, its puppy dog eyes pleading to play with you. Almost twice your size, you freeze with fear, then realise this hefty mammal means no harm as it dives down in circles below you. Let the games begin!
In late January, when the 19th Egyptian Marathon took place in Luxor, one special entrant caused some surprise and consternation. In fact the policeman at the car park said that young Felix wasn’t allowed.
After much negotiation by Felix’s companion, Kim, he was able to proceed and win hearts along the way. You see Felix is an orphan and resident of Animal Care in Egypt (ACE). That’s right, Felix is a donkey!
Whoever said “no pain, no gain” could have been talking about trying to spot the elusive mountain gorillas of Rwanda. There was no way that Roberta Leung was going to let the rugged conditions get the better of her, and thankfully she was rewarded ten times over for her efforts…
“I had been climbing the steep slopes of the Rwandan jungle for over 3 hours in damp, slippery and muddy conditions when word came that my group was only another 30 minutes away from the gorilla family. It was the hardest trek I had undertaken in my life, yet none of that mattered when I caught my first sighting of these majestic creatures.
If portering was an Olympic endurance event, the trekking porter would win all the medals for their weight-lifting skills. Celebrate and admire these incredible athletes of the mountains. Watch them in action, appreciate the balance, strength, endurance and their good nature, then try picking up a load yourself!
Portering is an important part of the economy in many popular hiking destinations. If you are off trekking in places like the Himalayas, Mt Kilimanjaro or shorter treks like on the Inca Trail in the Andes, employ porters, support the tradition and take good care of them. At Intrepid, we follow strict guidelines in how we recruit and care for porters. You can play an important part in this…
Bryceson Hassan Kimali was one of PEAK East Africa’s long-serving cooks and a much-loved member of the team working on East African and South African trips. He was born on 22 February, 1964, in Arusha, Tanzania. He joined PEAK East Africa Limited, when it was then known as Guerba Kenya Limited, in 1996 as a cook, a role that also doubles as a Camp Master.
We are thrilled that Intrepid’s Dheeraj ‘Monty’ Bhatt is a finalist for the prestigious Wanderlust World Guide Awards 2012. This is the fifth year that Intrepid group leaders have either won or been shortlisted for the accolade of world’s best tour guide.
Monty follows in the footsteps of Bruno Dawsan, Intrepid’s guide in Sri Lanka who received gold in the 2011 awards and bronze in 2010. Tejendra Singh took the bronze award in 2009 and Esam Abd El Salam from Egypt won the gold award in 2008.